Welcome to Cranmer’s Substack, where you will find all of my writings on New Zealand politics, culture and law.

As a lawyer, I have spent the last 25 years with my head buried in the minutiae of contracts, oblivious to everything save for family and the superficiality of current events. I don’t know why but the time feels right to raise my gaze from the papers on my desk and take a closer look at the challenges that New Zealand faces.

Although I’m a political conservative I have never spent much time trying to categorise my political leanings in any great detail - maybe I’m a Red Tory or a reluctant conservative in the manner described by Kingsley Amis, I really don’t know:

Growing older, I have lost the need to be political, which means, in this country, the need to be Left. I am driven into grudging toleration of the Conservative Party because it is the party of non-politics, of resistance to politics.

In my final year at secondary school I received the Headmaster’s Prize for Service. I was given a gift voucher and told that I could purchase any book that I wanted which would be presented to me by the Headmaster on Speech Day. For a long time I had forgotten about that book until I moved house a few years ago and found it. Fittingly, it was called An Incomplete Education. Hopefully this Substack will continue my incomplete education, deepen my knowledge of politics, culture and law, and help me understand the ever-changing forces that shape our world.

With that aim, I will endeavour to publish an article several times a week and will welcome comments and suggestions whether from the like-minded or those on the other side of the debate. Whilst I do have some axes to grind, I am here to learn in a collaborative and fun environment, not to preach.

Many lawyers are failed writers, so I apologise in advance if you occasionally feel like you’re reading a contract or legal memo. Hopefully my writing will also improve!

Why subscribe?

By subscribing, every new article goes direct to your inbox and can be accessed on the website. People who already subscribe include many current and former politicians of different stripes, journalists, expert commentators, academics and everyday New Zealanders who are interested in commentary and analysis on some of the topics of the day.

My articles have been republished by The Spectator Australia and a number of blogs including Bassett, Brash and Hide, The Common Room, Plain Sight and Point of Order.

I am also the founding editor of the newly launched Newstalk ZB Plus.

If you click through from your email you will be automatically logged in. If you come to the website separately, you can log in through the Home or About pages.

What are the benefits of a paid subscription?

Whilst the majority of my articles are free, I do publish some paid-only articles which provide additional, mostly personal, insight. Paid subscribers will also be able to comment on all articles and will have full access to the archive.

Three months after publication, each free article will be archived and thereafter will only be available to paid subscribers.

You’ll also be supporting independent citizen journalism.

Can I share your articles?

Yes! Please feel free to share my articles as far and as wide as you like, on whatever platform you prefer. Sharing my articles is a great way to show your support and I greatly appreciate the many times that readers have recommended my articles to friends, family and colleagues.

In addition, my articles are regularly republished with permission on many media and blog sites.

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Please mark this address as ‘not spam’. If you can’t find my articles, check your Promotions tab and spam folder. I am contactable at cranmer@substack.com.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this Substack, visit Substack.com.

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Opinions on politics, culture and law in New Zealand


Founding editor of Newstalk ZB Plus and former lawyer, Philip Crump explores political, legal and cultural issues facing New Zealand. Sometimes known as Thomas Cranmer.